There are some who think that this chapter 53, is devoted totally to the experience of Jesus at the Crucifixion and the sufferings recorded in the gospels, but by looking at this divisional aspect of the chapter in this way we can see the inspiration of the Old Testament. For this threefold pattern is seen in other aspects of the Books of Experience. Within this most inspired prophesy we see the Lord Jesus Christ. The first five verses call us to; Behold the man; Verses 6-9 call us to; Behold the Lamb. And verses 10-12 call us to Behold your King. The first title is borrowed from the words of Pilate as he brought Jesus to the crowds at the judgement hall. The second is the message proclaimed by John the Baptist just before the baptism of Jesus The third title, again is attributed to Pilate at the trial of Jesus. Within the first few verses we have a little insight into the hidden years of the life of Jesus. “He shall grow up before Him” The phrase “grow up” gives us a clue that we are hearing those early years in Nazareth being prophesied about. “As a tender plant” There never was a tenderer plant, but as in nature there is the marvel of very tender plants surviving against storm and rain and many thousands of living creatures, so this tender plant also grew. How vulnerable are children, Their dependence upon the adults who bring them up, and the faith they have to put in them makes their environment a very hostile area for holy growth. Their innocence makes them easy targets for others to exploit. Those tender years as the Christ-child, are not written in detail but we can grasp something of the concern that there was in heaven as the father watched the son “grow up before him”. He watched others of his creatures, (Mary and Joseph) to whom he had entrusted the responsibility of bringing up his own Son on this earth. The whole plan of Salvation depended upon the sacrifice being without spot and without blemish. How could John the Baptist have been able to say “Behold the Lamb of God,” if any taint of uncleanness had fallen upon Jesus in those hidden years. God could not have offered him as His Lamb for the sins of the world.. If the earthly lambs for earthly families had to be without spot and without blemish, how much more the very Lamb of God. For God the father’s sake “He grew up before Him”. Job gives the same testimony that God examined him each morning and watched his every step, even , says Job, “having put marks on the soles of my feet so that he could trace my steps” “and as a root out of dry ground” This marvellous expression can refer only to his supernatural birth. As surely as it is an impossibility for anything to grow without water, so it is impossible for a child to be born without an earthly father. Ironically, those who foolishly would deny the virgin birth must find all christian truth to be diluted. To say that Jesus was the carnal son of a carpenter called Joseph reduces the whole bible revelation to the level of mere man-made religion. “And when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him” His physical form has always intrigued artists and romantics for centuries. The scripture here tells us that his physical form was nothing special. He had no special beauty that he should become the pop idol of His day. In fact when Jesus was only thirty or so, the Jews debating with him said “you are not yet fifty”. Some difference. No doubt they were looking at the outward form of this man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. A few verses earlier in ch. 52 we read that his visage was marred more than that of any man. This gives us a small clue into the human suffering that Jesus endured, and perhaps, the effect of those sufferings upon his natural features. Suffering tends to show in the face. “Smitten of God and afflicted” Those of his neighbours and fellow townspeople who watched him grow up would have clear memories of his “dubious” birth. They would all have known in that village community that Mary had been pregnant before she was married. The Jewish upbringing and teaching made them believe quite firmly that if one sinned then trouble would follow. Job’s friends are typical examples of this belief. They bombarded Job with accusations because of it. The people of Nazareth no doubt on seeing the troubles he encountered, would believe that he had been smitten by God, because of his sinfulness. However, we now see that if Job was the target of Satan because of His perfectness, then without any doubt at all, Jesus would be an even greater target. It is quite believable that no man ever suffered as much as Jesus did throughout those early years. Further evidence of this is taken from the reaction of those who knew Him when he preached his first sermon. He said he was to bring the gospel to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, open the eyes of the blind, set at liberty the captive and heal those who were bruised by the knocks of life. The reaction of the people who knew him, when they heard him say he had come to minister to poor, brokenhearted, bound, bruised people, was “Doctor Heal yourself”. For if anyone was in such a condition, (at least to all outward appearances) it was Jesus Himself. As Job’s family turned their backs on him so the neighbours of Jesus “hid their faces from Him.” They would not want to company with someone who had had such a lot of “bad luck,”, for fear that some of it might rub off on to them. The Jewish religious beliefs would enhance that attitude. “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” The emphasis in verse 4 should be on the word “our”, for it is telling us that without doubt he carried the same griefs and sorrows that we have to carry. He was never immune to the sufferings of life. Sometimes we are guilty of believing that because he was the Son of God, then all he would have to do in trouble would be to whisper a cry for help and angels would come down in thousands to rescue him. But the truth is we could not be more mistaken. Hebrews tells us that to be our high priest he had to truly be one of us, and so “tested in all points like we are he was, yet without sin.” Having known the same sufferings it says that He is now able to help those who suffer and to intercede on their (our) behalf. Fulfilling the wonderful prophetic cry of Job that his advocate was in heaven interceding for him. We are told that “though He was a Son he learnt his obedience through the things that he suffered.”
Within the purposes of our study of Job, there is no need at this point to expound the next few verses as revealing the sacrificial suffering of the Lamb nor even the note of victory at the end revealing the victorious king sharing his spoil with those who are strong in faith. Sufficient at this stage to see this pattern which occurs often throughout scripture of “Man- Lamb- King”. For example it is seen in the lives of the men who wrote the Books of Experience (Job Psalms Proverbs etc) They are Job, David and Solomon. (see following chart) As “types-of Christ”, it is not difficult to see Solomon reigning in peace enjoying the spoils of victory with His people, as seen in the last few verses of Isaiah 53. Through him we “Behold our King” Similarly, David’s association with sin, lambs and much suffering presents a living exposition of the verses 5-7. to enable us to “Behold the Lamb”. For in Psalm 22 we have a description of the very crucifixion of Jesus. Psalm 51 his association with sin and the suffering he endured. David pours out his soul in confession. Likewise Jesus interceding on our behalf confessed our sins in the same way. If Jesus has not confessed our sins then there can be no forgiveness. Significant also to notice that the scripture tells us that David also was perfect as regards the keeping of the laws of the Lord “except for Bathsheba”- and Ps. 51 is a confession of that great sin. Jesus who was also perfect yet became sin for us. “Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut it’s glories in When Christ, the mighty maker died For man, the creatures sin” He who knew no sin became sin. He confessed and received forgiveness on our behalf. He is our great high priest. “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world” Having seen clearly the two representatives of the King and the Lamb, we should see that only Job is left, through whom we “Behold the Man”. If then the first few verses of Isaiah seem to illustrate for us the “hidden years” of Christ’s humanity, then Job surely fits the same bill. Thus we can arguably conclude that Job is in the old testament, as are all the others, for one reason only, and that is to reveal Christ. If Job was a target of Satan then surely it is there to confirm our natural expectations that Jesus would have been the prime target of Satan, while he learnt his spiritual apprenticeship in Nazareth That is where he learnt his obedience, and where he was tempted in all points like as we are. So we see from Job and the first few verses of Is. 53 (and many other texts and examples here and there throughout the old testament), a picture of the hidden years being unfolded. No wonder at His baptism, as Jesus emerged from this hidden private life into public ministry, to face a fresh lot of temptations known to servants of the Lord, that his Heavenly Father could not keep silent.. For there thundered from Heaven the voice of pride and delight, (as he did with Job) “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” What an offering - what a High Priest? Finally we must recognise that the whole point of Job’s experience being included in scripture could well be summed up in the phrase “the just for the unjust”. Had Job suffered justly, he would never have portrayed the Lord Jesus. The legal setting of the book cries out for justice. What happened to Job, seemed to him to be totally unjust. He became “black”. So also Christ became sin for us, the just for the unjust. In his treatise on the gospel in Romans ch 1-8 Paul declares that the gospel reveals to us the ”righteousness of God”. A just verdict is declared upon man as guilty, a just penalty of death is inevitable, a just payment is made by Christ, and justification is granted to all who by faith identify with Christ’s offering. It’s all about justice, and about what is “right”. God must have his “rights” and man must have his “rights”. In the gospel we see these things revealed.